WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will not compete again until 2017, trainer and manager Jay Deas has informed WBN this week.
Wilder, 30, tore a bicep and broke his hand when recording a 37th career victory last weekend, taking out veteran Chris Arreola in the eighth round at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
The ailments have ended any hope WBC mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin had of securing a scheduled challenge this year as the World Boxing Council near a ruling on the Russian’s positive drugs test.
Povetkin’s bout on home soil was postponed nine days prior to the fight going ahead, which eventually led to Wilder facing Arreola and suffering the subsequent injuries.
Deas detailed the next step for Wilder in an exclusive for World Boxing News.
“Deontay will have two surgeries in the near future. One is for a hand injury and the other is for a bicep injury,” Deas told WBN.
“We believe he sustained both these in the third to fourth rounds but it’s amazing and a true testament to his mental and physical toughness that he was not only able to continue, but excel and get the victory inside the distance.
“We are working to coordinate care in such a way that he will have the surgeries simultaneously so as to speed recovery.
“We also hope to have Deontay completely healthy and ready to go near or just after 2017 begins,” he added.
This news means Povetkin is almost certain to be Wilder’s next foe if cleared of any wrongdoing by the WBC, although the ex-world champion will be looking at an interim bout before finally being handed his shot in the spring of 2017.
Wilder’s recovery also has a knock on effect for fellow top division titlists Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, both of whom have been linked to a unification with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ in the next twelve months.
Any potential fights are now on the backburner until the summer of 2017 at the earliest, as even if Povetkin is found guilty, Wilder would need a warm-up fight before facing either of the undefeated Brits.